Influencers, Careers, and… Life Purpose?

1 in 4 people in gen z want to be an influencer for their career. I read that statistic from somewhere recently and I am not surprised. Lately, and I’ve been feeling this for a long time. Influencers are trying to get your follows, trying to get sponsorship deals and trying to make this their job. I don’t see anything wrong with this exactly. I do think there is a big difference between wanting to genuinely help people with your influence vs. trying to become “famous” and live in the world in this way.

It is tough out there trying to find a job or a career you want. I’m very much a Zillennial (tail end of millennials, and not quite gen z). I do see the appeal of wanting to be an influencer, regular jobs don’t pay enough. It’s creative, and you get to be your own boss. I’ve even seen the beauty of it. But also, I wouldn’t want most of my life to be on display in order to get views.

There was a trending sound on Instagram recently where a woman’s voice sings:

“Everything is content… don’t forget to film it”

This illustrates my point perfectly. If you want followers and views, you need to try to showcase everything and anything in your life to try to make that happen. But is it necessary to have to share every detail of your life in order to make a living?

Careers

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Ever since I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted my career to be. I have spent countless hours trying to figure out what it is that would suit my personality and interests. I wanted to find something I would be passionate about. I wanted to make sure that decision is right.

But I have also fallen into the trap of being so indecisive and unable to commit to a career path or college major. I read job descriptions and think, “I don’t wanna be doing that for the rest of my life, so that’s out.” Or I would watch a “day in a life of a ________” on YouTube and just be so unsatisfied with what I saw.

I wanted a career where I could really help people 1 on 1 or in a group, and really meet their needs to change their lives. I didn’t want to be stuck in a school teaching or in a cubicle (both of which I have ended up doing at different times). I didn’t know exactly what that meant for me, or what kind of job would give me that. But I knew I wanted it. As a result, I’ve changed my college major from social work to physical therapist assistant, psychology, marketing, hospitality management, event planner, and back to psychology (which is what I’ve settled on). I’m making myself be satisfied with this decision, so I just graduate college already! Ha.

The truth is, ever since I have taken my first yoga teacher training course, I’ve had this love affair with the idea of being a yoga teacher for a living. It’s perfect, I thought. I can help people to feel better through yoga, and I could incorporate my fascination of spirituality into my work. But this is where the intersection of a career and being an influencer cross, and I don’t particularly like this.

The majority of people think of a yoga teacher as a person with bleach-blonde hair, perfectly fit body, nails perfectly manicured-type Instagram influencer person. You almost have to be like this in order to make teaching yoga work. But really, yoga for me isn’t a workout or an exercise program. Yoga is about healing yourself. It’s about reflection and meditation. Yoga is about coming home to yourself. The poses aren’t for show, they are really for you.

But, in my experience that is incredibly hard to convince people of. Especially if you are just on instagram or tiktok. People who follow yoga teachers on social media expect to see the teacher in tight or skimpy clothing, twisting themselves into knots in front of the camera.

For me, I refuse to do this because of two reasons. One, this is not why I practice yoga, so why would I want to do this on social. Two, I have had a lot of body insecurities throughout my life, and even the thought of putting myself on display like this causes me anxiety. I also feel I shouldn’t have to present myself in this way in order to make a living.

Ok, so that’s not the way.

Life Purpose

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In the intersection of the “perfect career” and influencer culture, I keep coming back to this idea of life purpose. Even if you are in the right career and you are doing well, what if you just don’t feel fulfilled in life? What if “doing” is not enough?

I think my quest for the perfect career in many ways was actually me looking for my life purpose. I want to feel as if my life means something, and that I could actually help people in some way. What has been sold to me here in the United States is the idea that your career is your life purpose. That your work and what you do for money needs to be the thing that defines your life. Your resume is THE proof that you have been worth it this whole time.

I am still in the middle of dismantling these beliefs, and I am trying to figure out a way to balance being able to provide for myself and also just living my life. I personally don’t really want to be an influencer, but I want to influence people. I don’t just want a career, I want a fulfilling life. And I’m still navigating what that looks like.

New Earth

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There’s this concept of “new earth” that comes up every now and again in the spiritual community. I don’t think new earth is about everyone being influencers, or about everyone having this huge resume full of work accomplishments. How I see it is the community coming together. Local community. Collaboration and reaching out to one another. Instead of us being so separate seeing each other’s lives through screens, maybe we could just talk face-to-face instead. Part of me thinks that this is impossible, and that technology is the way. But I’m starting to entertain the idea of this type of community building on the local level, rather than everyone trying to advertise and market to each other all the time. 

Really, I believe that if everyone refused to do work that was draining to them and not aligned with their purpose, then the world would be a very different place. There may not be these huge world-wide corporations anymore. Instead, there would be local communities collaborating and exchanging services. There would be local businesses and artisans serving their communities. Wouldn’t you love to buy food from someone local? Wouldn’t you love to walk into a shop full of clothes that your neighbor designed herself? Maybe this is all wishful thinking, but I can’t help but think about it from time to time. It’s not about trying to get enough money. It’s about making sure everyone has enough.

I know our own thoughts create our reality, so maybe it’s me that needs to get out into my community, rather than being so focused on the internet.

It’s been a while.

Hey there. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here on this blog.

Yes, I did republish a lot of old posts recently. I also did a little segment on affirmations and the chakras, but that writing wasn’t truly from the heart.

I had actually convinced myself that my posts and writing in general is incoherent, and that nobody would want to read it. I told myself that my blog wasn’t professional and that some of the things I would write about would be cringey or boring and no one would want to read.

And maybe that is the case. Maybe no one wants to read, and maybe I’ll only reach a handful of people with this blog. But I also realized that I don’t want millions of people reading. I want the right people reading. Even then, even if no one reads that’s ok. Because this blog is for me. It’s my place to be messy and write what’s on my mind and to not take life so seriously.

So, if you are here reading this, thank you. I hope you find something you need, if I can help you then that is the icing on the cake.

Not everything we do needs to be for the purposes of making money or trying to change the world. Sometimes we just write because we want to, and that’s ok. It doesn’t take away from the value and time you are putting into it.

What if you just let it all go

What if you let go of all the expectations of others.

You let go of your relationships and others opinions, just for a moment, you embrace the uncertainty. You let go into the void that is life, and you just let it wash over you like the ocean.

What if you let go of structure and expectations, and the how to’s.

Let go of social media and the numbers and the right way to do things.

If you let go for a moment, maybe you’ll find yourself.

Maybe you’ll find that glimmer of creativity that you were missing. Maybe you’ll rediscover that mystery that is life. Maybe you’re actually lost in everything that isn’t you, all of the material things, the expectations, the drama.

Maybe you’ll find yourself if you let everything else go.

Not all of us are meant to be in the world of labels and expectations and performance. Maybe for some of us, that world dims our light, the spark of creativity and that essence that makes us live and do things that make us feel alive.

And what happens when we let all of that go?

We just might find ourselves.

What Makes Me Happy?

Sometimes doing the right thing for myself feels wrong. I am used to what’s easy for me and used to comforts and the path of least resistance in my life. I am finding that improving myself is requiring making myself do things that I don’t feel like doing. Right now I have pretty much all the time I want and it never feels like I have enough time. So, I’m trying to figure out how to use my time in a way that is valuable to me as well as restful for me. Wasting time isn’t rewarding for me even though playing games, and consuming information, and watching TV is fun and pleasurable. It’s not what makes me happy. 

What makes me happy is knowing when to take a break and knowing when to work really hard on something that I’m passionate about. What makes me happy is growing and seeing progress in my life. Playing it safe, staying inside and keeping all my thoughts inside of me isn’t happy for me. But it’s safe. It’s safe to shut everyone out so I can’t get hurt. It’s safe to not write any of my thoughts down so I don’t have to face them. It’s safe to stay in bed, so I don’t have to have people judge my appearance. Just because these things keep me safe doesn’t mean it’s how I want my life to be. I don’t want to shut people out of my life forever. I don’t want to stay in bed all day. I don’t want to keep my thoughts inside my head, that would drive me crazy.

I recently did a yoga video that I’ve done dozens of times before, though it’s been a while since I’ve practiced it. I am coming back to a yoga sequence that used to be fun, and easy and joyful. When I practice it now, I feel so stiff and immobile. I’ve let myself stagnate in my yoga and I’ve kind of lost the ability to do some poses fully, or at least not how I used to be able to do them. Yoga is a great way to see what’s actually going on in my life because this because it’s a physical thing. I can relate it to other areas of my life. I am working to get the motivation to do the things I want to do. It feels wrong to do the yoga because it doesn’t come as naturally to myself anymore. It doesn’t feel right but I know it is stretching and expanding my body and my attention span into places it hasn’t been in a long time.

It feels wrong to write this. It feels wrong to express my thoughts. I haven’t let myself fully do this for some time. Is this what it’s like to be asleep? Is this what it’s like to shut down and not allow any growth in my life? How can we move on when hard things happen in our lives? How can we move on and express and write and grow when we’re hurting inside? Playing it safe isn’t helping the hurt. Giving it room to be may be my medicine.

Do Something Different

This the inspiration that came to me from watching a recording of a yoga class.

“Do something different”

If you’re feeling depressed, do something different.

If you’re feeling anxious, do something different.

If you want a change, do something different.

It seems so simple. so simple, in fact, that we might overlook it. 

“I’m doing all I can do”

“I’m trying everything”

“No matter what I do nothing changes”

These are all excuses I had been telling myself, but I hadn’t changed anything. I hadn’t done anything different, I just wanted things to happen, I wanted things to change around me so I could feel better. 

“Do something different”

I started writing. I stopped writing for months, and now I’ve written three blog posts. I’m doing something different, something that I enjoy FOR ME. Not for anyone else. And it feels so good. 

I write for myself, and I share so others may gain inspiration too. 

I feel as though my blog is dead. I feel no one reads it. 

My blog is alive for me because it gives me purpose. It gives me space to write.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🍌 on Unsplash

Sunlight

No matter the day or the hour, I can count on sunlight to come around.

It hides sometimes, but so do I. 

Sunlight is always there in some form, maybe even at times only a memory.

At times, I choose to not see sunlight, I choose to look down instead.

It hides sometimes, but so do I.

The sun will shine, light will come, not all choose to see.

Sometimes I hide, but that doesn’t stop my sun from shining through. 

Even though I’m tired, and worn and broken sometimes, the sun is there.

It will come around. It has it’s cycles, and so do I.

Acknowledge Yourself

Start by writing down what’s troubling you.

Let all your thoughts come out, uncensored. Let yourself write. After all your thoughts are there, reread the first sentence you wrote and say to yourself:

I Acknowledge You, I See You, I Know You.

Continue on to read the next sentence, repeat those words. Tell yourself that you acknowledge, see, and know yourself. Even through your frustrations, and especially after each word you may write.

Be curious of your fears.

Are you feeling fear like so many are right now?

I invite you to explore your fear. Explore it instead of trying to melt it away with positivity. Find out why you are so afraid in the first place! Why are we so afraid?

What do we have to lose? Who are we when we’ve lost what we fear? Really sit with yourself and think about WHY you are afraid for a moment. When we are curious about something, it doesn’t seem to be as hard to deal with.

My weekly yoga class that I attend was online this week, and one of the teachers was telling us, in meditation, to surround ourselves with light, to boost our immune system. This didn’t feel right to me at all, I feel my heart collapse even as I write those words. There’s no need to improve anything. If you’re supposed to get sick, you will get sick. If you’re so afraid of something and fighting it so much, it’s only more likely to become apart of your reality.

It’s ok to be afraid– but also know that what comes with fear can be hope. You can be fearful and know that everything is exactly as it should be. You can be fearful and know that all of this was apart of the plan in the first place. If the world is supposed to be made new– there needs to be destruction of the old. Facing exactly what we don’t want to see, so it can be changed.

How to fall gracefully

(and get back up again).

  1. You start feeling something you’d rather not feel. It might be gradual, or a twinge of the heart. It comes and goes, but it’s there. You may not even notice it at first. This is the beginning.
  2. You feel as if something isn’t right. This twinge is pointing to a larger and more elaborate labyrinth of feelings that seems inescapable.
  3. The event happens. Maybe it happens to you, maybe it comes from you or someone else– Either from yourself or someone else. This is the point when you realize nothing can ever be the same again… and you are hoping for the past. Wondering why things have gone the way they did– blaming yourself and wondering if there’s anything you could have done to prevent this.
  4. You feel as if there is no way back… falling… falling.
  5. You begin to accept the inevitable. Maybe you couldn’t have helped this from happening. Maybe this was the direction fate had determined to take. Maybe this is the way to be normal again.
  6. This wasn’t your fault. It couldn’t have been… and somehow you feel stuck in a life that isn’t, or couldn’t possibly be yours. Yet, here you are.
  7. Closing the doors. You shut down for a while. Maybe in resistance. Maybe from being so tired from keeping on going that you just have to sit down for a minute. You can’t take care of what you could have before. You have to take a break. That minute lasts eternity… but you need it to fill up your strength again. No matter what time it takes.
  8. You begin to feel new. The sun shines in a different way and yet, you can consider living your light in this new light. You begin to look up.